December 4, 2015 : By Melissa Skinner - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Audiences at Tower Theater this month will be transported to a simpler time, with trolley rides, elegant balls, and family meals around the table, as Liberty University’s Department of Theatre Arts presents the classic musical “Meet Me in St. Louis,” running Dec. 4-13 with eight performances.
Filled with wonder and familiar songs, including “The Trolley Song,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “Skip to My Lou,” the musical comedy is a celebration of family love and the holiday season. “Meet Me in St. Louis” is based on the 1944 MGM film adaptation of a book by Sally Benson. The stage version first premiered on Broadway in 1989. The story centers on a happy St. Louis family’s life, circa 1904, as the children pursue romance and look forward to the magic of the World’s Fair, all while learning to deal with life’s unexpected challenges.
‘Meet Me in St. Louis’
To purchase tickets, visit the Tower Theater website or call the Liberty University Box Office at 434-582-SEAT (7328) during weekday business hours. On the night of a performance, call the Tower Box Office at 434-582-2085.
“Unlike so many contemporary movies and TV shows that seem intent on re-defining and diminishing the family unit, it’s refreshing to produce a musical that promotes a strong, united family,” said Chris Nelson, the show’s producer and an associate professor of theatre arts. “The movie is over 50 years old, and yet, its charm continues today.”
“It’s a beautiful Christmas story that will get everyone in the holiday spirit,” added senior Makenzie Pusey, who plays the role of Esther Smith.
In the film, Esther is portrayed by the legendary Judy Garland, which makes assuming the role a dream come true for Pusey, a longtime fan of Garland.
“Being able to play this role my senior year has meant so much to me,” she said. “So much of the show is about preparing to leave behind somewhere you love, so it really connects to my life at the current moment as I prepare to graduate.”
Pusey said that while it is tempting to copy Garland, she strove to make the character her own.
“I really aimed to capture the character’s energy and passion for life. She loves deeply, and I really wanted to capture that in my portrayal of the role.”
Pusey added that while her character loves her family, sometimes they aggravate her.
“Who can’t relate to that?” she said.